Saturday, December 6, 2008

7%--38%--55% Rule

If Albert Mehrabian's conclusions about communication are true, that 7% of communication is verbal, 38% is tone of voice, and 55% is body language, then understanding Annie is not an insurmountable hurdle. Especially now that she is throwing toys and books when she's done with them (55% body language), and yelling more loudly when in cavernous spaces like the mall where she can maximize the echo of her voice (38% tone). Understanding Annie is not rocket science. However, if you're in the next room, and not immediately comprehending that she's lonely and/or bored and wants someone to play with NOW, she can speed up your thought processes by sticking her fingers down her throat.

I was sitting in the children's physical therapist's waiting room this week, commiserating with another mom, and, of course, since my attention was turned away from Annie, and I wasn't watching her breathe right at that moment, she took 55% of her fingers and stuck them 38% into her throat. The mom's eyes got real big, and she said, "MY kid does that too!!" Isn't life grand? Why did I get the most perverse comfort in hearing that she has to deal with threatening throwup on a daily basis too?

So, of course, we agreed that the answer to this problem is to ignore the behavior. Right. Do you know how many of Annie's toys I've thrown out because the throw up can't be cleaned out of the plastic cracks? I've tried digging it out with q-tips, toothpicks, and when all else fails, I've run the smelly things under the faucet. Then Old McDonald ends up sounding like he's waterlogged. Oh, never mind.

The good news is she's continuing to communicate. She's laughing, giggling, and smiling more. But this gagging is so annoying. So we'll just ignore it.

I do have a prayer request, though. Her seizures don't seem to be going away, and her head drops are becoming more pronounced. Last month, the doc mentioned another medicine we might try next, or maybe do the VNS surgery. Yuck. We need wisdom, and Annie needs healing. But we are enjoying that 55% body language and 38% tone.


"Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

1 comment:

Gretchen said...


I figure it's a-okay to get perverse comfort. Better than none at all. xxxooogretchen